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Meet Carlos Campo - George Clooney's cousin

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Meet Carlos Campo - George Clooney's cousin

Post by Katiedot on Mon Aug 20 2012, 12:54

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VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. -- When he was a boy, says Carlos Campo, there were moments when he would have preferred a different name.

"Frankly," recalls Campo, the president of Regent University, "when I was a young kid, I just wanted to be Bill for a while."

But years later, he said, it was his Latino name that provided a link to a new generation of students trying to find their way through higher education. Students at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas where he was teaching told him they enrolled in his class simply because they saw a familiar-sounding name in the course catalog.

"That name that in many ways I despised as a youth, my own students saw as beautiful," he said.

It brought "almost a renaissance" in his thinking and an awareness of how his ethnicity could provide a pathway to education for underserved populations that are the nation's fastest-growing demographic groups.

Regent is known for the right-of-conservative brand of founder Pat Robertson, yet Campo — a first cousin of actor George Clooney and a son of a Cuban bandleader — may be setting a different tone if not direction for the Christian university in Virginia Beach.

Campo, who this month marks his second anniversary as Robertson's successor, said his goal is to expand avenues to higher education for the disadvantaged "so that they have an opportunity at success that is at the heart of the American dream."

It's a concern he shares with President Barack Obama, he noted, adding that "in an age of such polarization," it's important to seek out that common ground.

"People think we're polar opposites, and maybe we are at some level," he said. "But here is that common ground. We both share a deep concern about how we are ensuring that the citizenry in America — I mean every color, every tribe, every tongue — how that citizenry is being nurtured academically."

* * * * *
Such views, Campo said, grew out of his background as the son of Cuban musician Pupi Campo, who was the bandleader in the 1950s for Jack Paar's television show.

His mother, a singer on the show, was Betty Clooney, who had started her career as a duo with her soon-to-be-famous sister, Rosemary Clooney.

But it was his father's identity that shaped "my own struggle with my ethnicity," he said. He didn't have his father's language ability, "his beautiful dark skin or his exotic accent, but I had this name, Carlos, that identified me as Latino."

Campo said that although his parents didn't finish high school, they instilled in him the idea that he would go to college. Many young Latinos don't grow up with that expectation, he said.

At a panel discussion last month at the College of William and Mary, he told U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan that "taking higher ed to the streets" would be more productive than such forums.

The mindset in higher education that "we have something valuable … so you come to us" is not the way to improve college completion rates among Hispanic and African-American youths, he said in an interview later.

Colleges must meet disadvantaged youths where they are — at community centers, street parties or churches — to increase graduation rates.

"I know I'm far too idealistic," he said. But a college education is "a social leveler" that can aid demographic groups that are increasingly slipping into poverty.

"If we fail in this generation, we're going to see the next generation truly a generation of haves and have-nots," he said.

Campo took that message to the Hispanic College Institute at Virginia State University in July, where he spoke of the challenges minority males face in continuing their education, said Mirta M. Martin, dean of VSU's School of Business and chairwoman for the institute.

"He is an incredible orator," Martin said. "He's guided by Christian values and beliefs, and he exercises them. They're not just words for him."

Campo told the youths of the obstacles he overcame to stay in school when his mother died when he was 17, Martin said.

He told them of his commitment not just to education but also to his wife of more than 30 years, she said. "I think those stories really reached the students."

Old Dominion University President John Broderick has found Campo to be an engaged community partner in Hampton Roads.

"He's a great colleague," Broderick said. Campo spoke at an ODU event for Hispanic students and stayed around to speak individually to all the students with questions.

When Broderick asked Campo if there was anyone at Regent that students interested in the law school should call, "he said, 'Sure, they can talk to me.' I think that said quite a lot about him right there."

Gov. Bob McDonnell, who received his law degree from Regent, said by email through a spokesman that he is personally inspired by Campo's life story, his dedication to academics and "his personification of the American dream."

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Re: Meet Carlos Campo - George Clooney's cousin

Post by it's me on Mon Aug 20 2012, 14:45

thanks
interestic job his one
and I see a really open sight
in his eyes too


it's me
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Re: Meet Carlos Campo - George Clooney's cousin

Post by LornaDoone on Tue Aug 21 2012, 04:56

he's a first cousin? How is he related? Oh hell, nevermind, I can't read.

Interesting though that the Clooney sisters both ended up with Hispanic men! One from Puerto Rico and one from Cuba.


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Re: Meet Carlos Campo - George Clooney's cousin

Post by it's me on Tue Aug 21 2012, 07:42

funny!

it's me
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Re: Meet Carlos Campo - George Clooney's cousin

Post by MM on Tue Aug 21 2012, 19:06

LornaDoone wrote:he's a first cousin? How is he related? Oh hell, nevermind, I can't read.

Interesting though that the Clooney sisters both ended up with Hispanic men! One from Puerto Rico and one from Cuba.


Yes, that's coincidental, all right!!

MM
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Re: Meet Carlos Campo - George Clooney's cousin

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